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When Particles Collide
Saturday, March 9 @ The Avenue Café, 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. 21kknd, FREE, 9 p.m.
Since being named 2014’s “Best New Artist” at the Boston Music Awards, When Particles Collide (WPC) has toured relentlessly as a duo, playing their blistering brand of stripped down, yet amped-up, alt-rock — or, what they call “melody forward, hard hitting, genrebending rock ’n roll.” In 2013, Sasha Alcott (vocals/guitar) and Chris Viner (drummer) married, and promptly dropped their day jobs and became full time, independent musicians. Out of their trusty 2014 Ram Promaster cargo van, the pair racks up over 200 shows each year across the United States and Canada while also releasing stacks of albums on their own imprint, Unstoppable Rock Records. The outfit’s latest EP, 2018’s “Fade to Gold,” is available on limited edition vinyl. The record features six new tracks and hand screen-printed artwork. Saturday, WPC will play cuts from the new release and more at The Avenue Café; opening the gig are Dasterds, The Quirk and Bike Tuff.
Prior to becoming indie-rock road warriors, WPC’s Alcott taught high school chemistry for 18 years while Viner worked in the car business and as a nanny. Viner (a trained jazz drummer and choral vocalist) met Alcott (a self-taught punk rocker and singer-songwriter) in the spring of 2010 after they were both cast in a local production of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” in their hometown of Bangor, Maine. They worked together ever since, exploring “where disparate influences come together.”
Saturday, March 9 @ The Robin Theatre, 1105 S. Washington Ave., Lansing. All ages, $15, 7 p.m.
Tim O’Shea, a singer and multi-instrumentalist from Killarney, Ireland, draws from the dance music of his native Sliabh Luachra and West Kerry folk traditions and the singing of Irish and Scottish performers like Jimmy McCarthy and Paul Brady. Saturday, he brings those traditional sounds to The Robin Theatre.
This will be his fourth appearance at the Robin. Joining him on stage is fellow Kerryman Pat Quinn on banjo and flute. O’Shea started performing with various bands, and solo, back in the ’80s and has since toured the globe many times over, including stops in India, Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe, especially Germany.
O’Shea has six albums in his acclaimed catalog, beginning with 1995’s “Monks of the Screw” LP. In 2017, his group Tim O’Shea & Friends released his latest effort, the “Another Skin Too Few” CD, which is available via CDBaby.com. The dynamic track list features an array of instrumentation, like flute, whistling, accordion, melodeon and harmonica, to only name a few. The sonically vibrant disc was shaped and influenced by O’Shea’s fellow local musicians, back on the West Coast of Ireland. According to his website: “Sadly, the musicians commemorated here, are now gone from us, all too soon, but their music and song lives on … In some small way, (the album) honors and remembers them and their versions of the tunes.”